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Abdullah bin Zayed, Russian counterpart discuss bilateral relations, regional developments

posted on 30/05/2015

MOSCOW: H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Foreign Minister of the UAE, and Sergey Lavrov, Foreign Minister of Russia, met last night in Moscow to discuss various avenues of cooperation between their two countries and ways of promoting and expanding this cooperation, in the light of their close ties of friendship and shared interests that their leaders seek to consolidate and promote.

The two sides exchanged views and ideas on the overall regional and international developments and current events, as well as on the positions of their countries on fighting terrorism, in all its forms, manifestations and organisations. They emphasised the importance of preserving international peace and security and protecting the stability and peace of the region.

In a joint press conference with Mr Lavrov at the conclusion of the meeting, H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed stressed that the UAE is working on promoting cooperation with Russia for a better future in their relations in the political, economic, investment, trade and energy domains, among others.

The Russian foreign minister welcomed Sheikh Abdullah's visit and expressed his delight at meeting him again to discuss bilateral cooperation in various fields of interest for their two countries.

Sheikh Abdullah said, "Extremism was a main topic in my talks today with my colleague, the Russian foreign minister. As such, it may be an ideological issue, but today we see its consequences on peoples, states and the future of the region. That is why it is important that the proposed cure for extremism should not be confined to the security aspect. Rather, it should also be inclusive of the ideological and political aspects as well as the diverse social and economic challenges facing peoples."

"That is also why bringing to an end the Israeli occupation of Arab territories captured in 1967 and creating a Palestinian state are essential, not only from a legal perspective but also in terms of countering the spread of extremism in the region."

Sheikh Abdullah added, "We look at our relationship with Russia with a great deal of interest, respect and pride regarding the military, political, economic and cultural domains that my colleague Mr Lavrov mentioned here. We are very proud of promoting this relationship between our two countries and look forward to doubling our efforts, and the outcome too."

H.H. the UAE foreign minister said that he looks forward to meeting Denis Manturov, Russian Minister of Industry and Trade and co-chair of the Russian-UAE Intergovernmental Commission "which has made good efforts to enhance the Russian-UAE relations. However we hope to double this in the future."

Mr Lavrov said that he and Sheikh Abdullah had discussed the most important issues of the Middle East. He called for solutions to these issues based on enhanced all-inclusive national dialogue in the respective states between all political, ethnic and religious powers.

"We discussed the situations in Yemen, Syria, Libya and Iraq and we are confident that, along with the joint efforts being made to find solutions to all these conflicts, we also must intensify our joint efforts to counter the danger of terrorism and extremism in the Middle East," said Mr Lavrov.

He added, "We believe that the activities of Daesh (ISIL) and other terrorist organisations pose serious challenges to peace and security in the Middle East and North Africa. Russia and the UAE will enhance their efforts to fight terrorism, not only in the framework of their bilateral relations, but also at international circles."

We exchanged our views on the Iranian nuclear issue. We are close to a final solution to this issue and hope that the positive outcome of our joint efforts will contribute to driving cooperation on security and stability in the Arabian Gulf. We also have a common position on pulling the Middle East peace process out of its current deadlock. A Palestinian state must be created to preserve the security of all the states of the region. For our part, we support the Arab efforts for peace.

We also exchanged views on our bilateral relations and are satisfied with their development in all spheres, including the dialogue on trade, investment and military and technical cooperation."

Lavrov said that cooperation between Russia and the UAE will be discussed during a meeting between H.H. Sheikh Abdullah and Minister Manturov. "We held our talks in a positive atmosphere, which makes us more determined to further our cooperation in all spheres."

Later, the Russian foreign minister hosted a dinner banquet in honour of H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed and his delegation.

The meeting and the banquet were attended by Major General Faris Al Mazrouei, Assistant Foreign Minister for Military and Security Affairs, Ahmed Al Jarman, Assistant Foreign Minister for Political Affairs, and Omar Ghobash, Ambassador of the UAE to Russia. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -


Abdullah bin Zayed meets Russian Trade and Industry Minister

posted on 30/05/2015

MOSCOW: H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Foreign Minister, yesterday met with Denis Manturov, Minister of Industry and Trade of the Russian Federation.

During the meeting, they discussed the distinguished bilateral relations between the two countries and ways to enhance them in various fields as well as issues of joint interest.

Sheikh Abdullah praised the ties between the two friendly peoples, especially in the trade, industrial, investment and energy fields.

On his part, the Russian minister underscored his country's desire to enhance relations with the UAE, wishing to boost mechanisms of joint co-operation in all fields based on the outstanding relations between the two countries.

He added that the UAE enjoys a prestigious international stature across the globe as well as the country's vital role in the economic, trade and tourism domains in the region.

He also hailed the UAE's cultural boom in all fields.

Among those who attended the meeting were Fares Al Mazrouei, Assistant Foreign Minister for Security and Military Affairs, Ahmed Al Jarman, Assistant Foreign Minister for Political Affairs and the UAE Ambassador to Russia Omar Ghobash. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -


UAE condemns terrorist attack on Dammam mosque

posted on 30/05/2015

The UAE yesterday condemned the bomb explosion in a mosque in the Saudi Arabian city of Dammam during Friday prayers killing four people and injuring four others.

'The UAE, while strongly condemning this cowardly terrorist act, renews its absolute rejection of all forms of terrorism and reiterates its solidarity with, and support for the sisterly Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in its efforts to confront these dangerous terrorist crimes which target the unity of the national fabric of the Kingdom,' Dr. Anwar bin Mohammed Gargash, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, said in a statement yesterday.

"It requires concerted efforts by the international community to combat these cowardly terrorist acts and devious ideologies which do not respect human lives and sanctity of places of worship," he added.

Dr. Gargash expressed sincere condolences on behalf of the UAE to the government and people of Saudi Arabia, and to the families of the martyrs and wished speedy recovery to those injured in the attack. He also prayed to the Almighty Allah to spare Saudi Arabia from any harm and seditious acts. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -


UAE, UNRWA discuss stronger cooperation

posted on 30/05/2015

Sheikha Lubna bint Khalid Al Qasimi, Minister of International Cooperation and Development, MICAD, has stressed that a stronger partnership between the UAE and international humanitarian and development agencies would reflect positively on the overall international humanitarian work.

"Integrating the expertise and capabilities of partners and joining efforts towards unified humanitarian goals would help developing countries and poor societies in creating better living conditions for their citizens," Minister Al Qasimi said.

Al Qasimi was speaking during a meeting with Pierre Krahenbuhl, Commissioner-General of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East, UNRWA.

She added that the leadership of the UAE deals with the issue of Palestinian refugees based on the country's historic commitment to the Palestinian cause, with all its roots and dimensions. "The UAE's historic role and generous support for Palestinians emanates from its unwavering positions and humanitarian commitment to helping Arab brothers and all people affected by humanitarian crises around the world."

During the meeting, Sheikha Lubna and Krahenbuhl discussed ways of bolstering partnership, exchange of expertise between the UAE and UNRWA as well as the latest developments of the UAE's assistance to the Palestinian people as part of agreements between the two sides, including a recent agreement to provide assistance to Palestinian refugees in Syria.

Krahenbuhl commended the UAE for its leading role in providing humanitarian and development aid for the Palestinians and for its support for the international agency's efforts.

A number of the ministry's officials attended the meeting at the Ministry of International Cooperation and Development. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -


With UAE participation, IPU Global Conference of Young MPs calls for radical responses to counter youth alienation and disengagement

posted on 30/05/2015

TOKYO: A major international conference of the world's young MPs in Tokyo has called for radical policies to end the alienation and radicalisation of young people, including new education policies and employment quotas.

About 190 young MPs, 76 of them women attending the IPU Global Conference of Young MPs jointly organised by IPU and the Japanese Parliament, the National Diet, made a series of recommendations on addressing some of the biggest challenges facing the world's 3.5 billion youth populations. These include unemployment, discrimination and conflict.

Faisal Al Tunaiji, Chairman of the Inter-Parliamentary Union's Forum of Young MPs, and member of the Federal National Council of the UAE, said,' We have submitted recommendations to increase youth political participation and input into decision-making and to sign an agreement between the Forum and the UN to communicate the voice and resolutions of the Forum to youth across the world.' He told a press briefing following the conclusion of the conference that the focus of the Tokyo conference was democracy, peace and prosperity. Statistics show that young people are suffering a disproportionate and worsening impact in the global financial and economic crisis, and are significantly more likely than the rest of the adult population to be unemployed.

Al Tunaji spelled out efforts being exerted by the UAE to attain and maintain peace internationally during the Session 4 which was dedicated to concrete actions should young parliamentarians take to advance peace and prosperity? What are the challenges for the future? He also underscored the UAE's commitment to participation of youth in the political life, noting that many young MPs hold membership in the FNC's committees.

During the two-day conference on 27-28 May, the young MPs affirmed their belief that despite disillusionment, apathy, political disengagement and unrest, the world's youth aspired to democratic, peaceful and prosperous societies and their inclusion into decision-making was critical.

The Conference underlined the need for a comprehensive rights-based framework of action against radicalisation, such as guaranteed free education, including anti-violence and conflict-management programmes, laws to criminalise hate speech, and involving young people in all decisions relating to counter-terrorism.

It also called for policies to curb the alienation of young people, including the creation of targeted opportunities to contribute to campaigns, programmes and projects at the community level.

On another key area of concern – youth unemployment - the Conference recommended wide-ranging new action, including quotas to advance equality of opportunities in the job market. It called for education to be better adapted to the needs of the job market, youth empowerment initiatives in business, better access to loans for young entrepreneurs and action to ensure the rights of young migrant workers and first-time workers are respected.

The Conference called for parliaments to shape pro-employment policies which help create good jobs for young people, and to hold governments to account for their action on youth employment. It urged young MPs to act as advocates for youth-friendly policies, and recommended they work together across party lines to achieve the best outcomes for young people.

The young MPs stressed the need for adolescent-friendly health policies, supporting youth access to sports and arts, combating hate messages in the media and on social media. The Conference emphasised the need to include young people in UN peace building missions, cut military budgets and invest in young people's participation in peace building to ensure that they are a key part of the solution to the conflict and are not seen as perpetrators.

On climate change and the Sustainable Development Goals, the Conference called on IPU and the UN to work resolutely to bring a parliamentary dimension to global efforts to build risk-resilient societies. It recommended this should be done through means such as the Sendai Framework on disaster risk reduction, agreed in Japan earlier this year, and the global pact on climate change, due to be signed in Paris this year.

The Conference also reiterated previous calls for measures to increase youth participation in formal politics, including the use of quotas, aligning the voting age with the age of eligibility to stand for parliament, and including young people in decision-making at national and local levels.

The Conference, a unique annual event, provides a global youth-led political platform to define policies and action to tackle the challenges faced by young people.

It is part of IPU's work to increase youth political participation and input into decision-making. It is backed by the Organisation's Forum of Young Parliamentarians – a permanent mechanism, which brings together young MPs from around the world.

IPU believes it is crucial for young people to be fully engaged in the democratic process and to be better represented in the world's parliaments. IPU statistics show that in 2014 only 1.7 per cent of the world's MPs were aged under 30.

The Conference also marked the fifth anniversary of an IPU resolution on youth participation in the democratic process, which recommends many practical steps which States, parliaments, political parties and other relevant groups can take to get young people more formally involved in politics. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -


Minister of Public Works receives German official

posted on 30/05/2015

BERLIN: Dr. Abdullah bin Mohammed Belhaif Al Nuaimi, Minister of Public Works, Chairman of the Federal Transport Authority – Land & Maritime, yesterday met with German Federal Minister of Transport and Digital Infrastructure Alexander Dobrindt, on the sidelines of the International Transport Forum 2015 (ITF) in Leipzig, Germany.

During the meeting, Al Nuaimi and Dobrindt reviewed various fields of existing cooperation between the United Arab Emirates and the Federal Republic of Germany, as well as ways of enhancing these relations, in light of the friendship, common interests and aspirations of leaders of the two countries to strengthen and develop the cooperation.

They also discussed aspects of joint cooperation in all fields, especially in the areas of transport, railways, transportation security and technology systems.

Further, Dr. Al Nuaimi praised German expertise in the fields of road and rail transport sectors.

For his part, the German Minister stressed the importance of bilateral visits between the two countries to strengthen relations and exchange experiences and views, noting, "The United Arab Emirates is one of the advanced countries in infrastructure and transport areas, and has shortened several stages to reach this stage, thanks to the wise leadership, which is keen to sow a culture of knowledge and exchange of experiences with sisterly and friendly countries across the globe."

The UAE Minister also invited his German counterpart to visit the UAE. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -


MoFA partakes in Global Consular Forum in Mexico

posted on 30/05/2015

The UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs, MoFA, participated in the second edition of the Global Consular Forum, GCF, which took place in Mexico.

The UAE is a member of the leadership of the eight-country Steering Committee of GCF along with Australia, Canada, Mexico, Netherlands, South Korea, Turkey, United Kingdom.

During the forum, Director of Consular Services at MoFA, Ambassador Ahmed Elham Al Dhaheri, gave an overview of the ministry's experience in consular services. He noted that the ministry provides unique electronic consular services to Emirati citizens abroad. He also noted that MoFA has upgraded these services, including the recently-created visa issuing centres and verification centres.

Participants commended the UAE for its achievements in consular work, including the progress made in MoFA's electronic services, and the exemption of UAE citizens from the Schengen visa requirement.

Participants in the second Global Consular Forum discussed a number of topics including sharing experiences and expertise in the fields of emergency and crisis management, consular agreements, safe travel culture, innovation and creativity and expatriate labour.

Participants also discussed common challenges and the proposed solutions as well as opportunities for international consular cooperation on improving consular services for citizens of participating states and their foreign subjects. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -


Ahmed Al Nuaimi visits UAE pavilion at Expo Milano 2015

posted on 30/05/2015

MILAN: Sheikh Ahmed bin Humaid Al Nuaimi, Representative of Ajman's Ruler for Administrative and Financial Affairs, Chairman of the Economic Development Department, yesterday toured the UAE pavilion at Expo Milano 2015.

He was accompanied by officials in charge of the pavilion, organised by the National Media Council (NMC). Sheikh Ahmed visited the sections of the UAE pavilion, where he was briefed on the UAE's preparations to host Expo 2020 Dubai.

During the tour, Sheikh Ahmed expressed his admiration of the pavilion's design, which embodies the innovative potentials of Emiratis and their preparedness to host global economic events. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -


Dubai Supreme Council of Energy strengthens green-economy partnerships, investment opportunities with Danish public and private sectors

posted on 30/05/2015

COPENHAGEN, DENMARK: Following an invitation from the Danish Governmental Green Economy Foundation, a delegation from the Dubai Supreme Council of Energy and Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA), headed by Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, Vice Chairman of Supreme Council of Energy and MD & CEO of DEWA, is on an official visit to Denmark.

The delegation has visited Copenhagen's City Hall in Denmark where Al Tayer met with Frank Jensen, Lord Mayor of the City of Copenhagen, and Jorgen Abildgaard, Executive Climate Project Director of the City of Copenhagen.

The visit enhanced cooperation and exchange of best practices and experiences on smart and green cities, and carbon emissions reduction.

The meeting was attended by Ahmed Buti Al Muhairbi, Secretary General of the Dubai Supreme Council of Energy, Waleed Salman, Executive Vice President of Strategy and Business Development, Abdul Nasser Abbas, Senior Director of Treasury, and Ahmed Abdullah, Senior Manager of External Communications at DEWA.

At the beginning of the meeting, Al Tayer thanked the Danish for their warm welcome. He presented an overview of the various initiatives of the Dubai Supreme Council of Energy and DEWA. These include the Dubai Integrated Energy Strategy 2030 to diversify the energy mix and reduce demand by applying best international practices in the sustainable conservation of resources.

He also highlighted the key projects DEWA is currently implementing as well as the latest technologies, and the smart and green initiatives implemented by DEWA. These initiatives support the Smart Dubai initiative launched by Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, to transform Dubai into the smartest city in the world in 3 years through 100 initiatives and 1,000 smart services to enhance living standards in Dubai, reduce its carbon footprint, and establish its position as a global role model for green economy.

The meeting discussed Copenhagen's strategy to become a leading smart and green city. The city's 2025 climate strategy is to become the world's first carbon-neutral city. The move will cut 2.5 million tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions each year. They already have achieved a mid-term goal for 2015 by reducing emissions to 20% compared to 2005.

Al Tayer and the delegation also visited the Danish retirement fund (PensionDanmark), in Copenhagen, where he met Torben Moger, CEO, and Jens-Christian Stougaard, Executive Vice President of PensionDanmark.

The meeting focused on implementing best international practices in green financing, which was one of the key outcomes of the Dubai Declaration at the second Global Green Economy Summit 2015, held in Dubai last April. The Declaration emphasised Dubai's continuous efforts to find innovative financing solutions for the green economy and its different activities, and to follow best international practices in green financing.

Dubai stimulates and encourages the development of green finance mechanisms and ways to motivate and encourage investments and green projects in Dubai.

Al Tayer also met Torben Huss, Executive Vice President of Investment Fund for Developing Countries, which is responsible for grants and funding in climate change for developing countries.

The delegation earlier met Finn Mortensen, Executive Director of State of Green, which represents Denmark's green economy sectors and one of the supporters of the World Green Economy Summit. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -


Shell VP speaks about latest R&D technologies at Abu Dhabi's ADRAC conference

posted on 30/05/2015

The Abu Dhabi Research & Development Conference & Exhibition, ADRAC, welcomed more than 2,000 research professionals in Abu Dhabi this week, to present the latest innovations in research and development in the energy sector.

Held for the fourth year since it was launched in 2011, the event brought together the international research and development community in the Middle East and globally providing a platform to cooperate and exchange knowledge and best practices in R&D fields Dr. Stuart Clayton, Shell's Vice President, Hydrocarbon Recovery Technologies, based in the Netherlands, addressed the conference audience about Shell's latest R&D technologies.

Dr. Clayton talked about Shell's long-term strategy for advanced Enhanced Oil Recovery, EOR, innovative technologies. "What we have uncovered over the years is that the integration of EOR technologies with drilling and completions engineering know-how and with skills in reservoir characterisation and operational field management can lead to a 5–20% increase in recovery of oil, which depending on the reservoir, could translated into total recovery levels up to 50–70%, or more."

He also talked about Shell's partnerships in the Middle East in innovative solar EOR. "With our partners in Petroleum Development Oman, PDO, we are working with a company called Glasspoint that has developed a technology to use sunlight to create steam for thermal EOR", Dr. Clayton said.

ADRAC was the first of its kind in the region to bring together professors, students, research centres, and industry experts to share and collaborate on R&D achievements and findings. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -


MoI Implements Legal Awareness Initiative for Workers

posted on 30/05/2015

The Law Respect Culture Bureau at the General Secretariat of the Office of H.H Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior, recently implemented a legal awareness initiative for workers at the various workers' villages in Abu Dhabi, Al Ain, the Western Region, and Fujairah.

Captain Hamdan Al Hafiti, Chief of the Community Education Section at the Law Respect Culture Bureau, indicated that the initiative focused on shedding the light on the legal procedures and engaging the largest number of workers in the various awareness and education programs. "Such an endeavour would boost workers' knowledge of the provisions of the laws and regulations in force in the UAE, in a way that would positively reflect on their behaviour and support the efforts exerted to enhance security," he added.

Moreover, Captain Al Hafiti noted that the office has organised 8 awareness lectures for workers in Yas Island, Abu Dhabi and the emirate of Fujairah. The lectures focused on workers' legal rights and obligations as stipulated by the laws and regulations enacted in the country. He said: "The laws and regulations applicable in the UAE have been enacted to organise and regulate the rights and duties of all individuals. They stipulate the ‘do's and don'ts' for workers in order to stay within the boundaries of the law and protect themselves and their society as well." – Emirates News Agency, WAM -


Ruler of RAK marks 40th anniversary of RAK Academy

posted on 30/05/2015

H.H. Sheikh Saud bin Saqr Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Ras al-Khaimah, has commended President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan on his continuous support to the nation's educational institutions to achieve more progress and prosperity.

He also praised the policies of the UAE Cabinet, led by Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, to achieve a qualitative shift in all levels of education nationwide.

The Ruler of RAK made his remarks during the ceremony, organised by the Academy, to mark its 40th anniversary. He underlined that the Emirate of RAK government also supports the educational institutions, in line with the educational objectives chalked out by the State.

For his part, Eng. Yousef Al-Ashqar, Chairman of the RAK Academy, said the Academy sponsored this occasion to mark the 40th anniversary of its establishment in 1975 under the name of the RAK English School, and then became the Academy in 2011. It now includes three schools, in which 3, 266 students are enrolled. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -